CARLTON TOWN 1-2 GRESLEY - MATCH REPORT
Familiar failings were on show as Carlton Town lost their final home match of the season, 2-1 against Gresley.
A hatful of presentable chances were squandered and, having eventually taken the lead, the Millers were unable to retain it for more than a couple of minutes before conceding again to lose.
Nothing should be taken away from Gresley, who ultimately deserved their win, but this was a game Carlton should really have won comfortably against opponents who also came from behind to beat the Millers just six days earlier.
The recent fixture backlog was no excuse this time as Gresley have had to play the same number of games in the same period and have had problems of their own in this period.
Wayne Scott made three changes to the side which drew with Cleethorpes last time out. In came Daniel Fletcher, Harry Gibbons and Ben Wallace. Out went Niall Davie, Kane Baldwin and Kaylum Mitchell.
The Millers included Academy players Joshua Harris, Tom Hutchinson and Thomas Spice on the bench, all of whom had played earlier on in an Under 21 match.
Gresley had suffered an exodus of players over the weekend and their starting eleven included just six players who were in the line-up for the previous match between the sides. Their starting right back Mitchell White had also played a full game earlier in the day.
On another excellent surface both sides looked to play football. Carlton had the first chance when Danny Elliott volleyed just over after some good work by Darol Lucas and Tyler Blake. Mamoke Akaunu was next to shoot, firing an angled drive which was well saved by Callum Hawkins.
On the half hour Gresley failed to clear a cross and Elliott found himself with an excellent chance which he put wide. At the other end Ryan King drew a decent save from Jack Steggles.
Wallace then chipped just over from the edge of the box, while King shot just wide in an open encounter.
Lucas Harrison hit an audacious 45-yard free kick at goal which drew an excellent tip away from Steggles.
Carlton’s best chance came on the stroke of half time. Elliott found himself six yards from goal with Hawkins stranded but last year’s player of the year missed his kick and Hawkins was able to scramble to his feet to clear.
The Millers opened the scoring three minutes into the second half. A Wallace corner was headed goalwards by Kieran Walker and when Hawkins could only parry, Akaunu fired home from close range.
If that was to be the base for a Carlton win it lasted all of four minutes before Gresley levelled. King crossed from the left and there were three players queueing up at the back post to hit it, with Zakim Evans firing past Steggles.
Carlton responded and Louis Danquah went on an excellent run down the left before crossing to Wallace whose fierce shot drew a fine save from Hawkins.
Riece Bertram then headed over from a Walker throw-in before the visitors took the lead. A cross from Max Atkin was headed goalwards by Kane Lee. Steggles seemed to be caught unawares as the ball went past him and into the net.
Lucas headed over the bar from a Danquah cross while at the other end Steggles made a good save from Lee.
In the last minute Tyler Blake had a free header to equalise from an excellent Bertram cross, but he placed it over the bar and the game was up.
Carlton Town: Steggles, Lucas, Fletcher, Bertram, Danquah, Walker, Gibbons (T Hutchinson 64), Elliott (Spice 81), Blake, Wallace, Akaunu. Unused substitutes: Baldwin, Harris
Goals: Akaunu 48; Zakim Evans 52, Kane Lee 69
Carlton Town Supporters Club MOTM: Harry Gibbons